Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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Re: Help with cockpit enclosure planning
Mine had a full enclosure; we put it away and never looked back, and we sailing in sub-freezing temps. We do have a hard top and partial enclosure, which I feel is an excellent compromise.
a. You can't see around it in rain/mist. Not acceptable.
b. Access to lines and quick access to the deck is impeded. Not acceptable.
c. Dress really needs to be sufficient for short periods on-deck anyway, for obvious safety reasons, so blocking the wind is enough. We can sail in fleece and windbreakers, which is fine, with heat on in the cabin.
d. Panels cannot be rolled in cold weather; eventually, they will crack (I've cracked 2 sets in the 40s). Removal is likewise asking for trouble, and where would they go, anyway? They must be set in position before the cold arrives.
If I lived-aboard in certain damp areas I would reconsider, but very likely I would opt for cloth panels (white Sunbrella, perhaps with netting inserts?) for aft areas, as they are easier to remove and store, and will handle all sorts of handling and storage abuse. I have cloth side panels now (if the rain is from the side) and we are very happy with them.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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